XBOX 360 REVIEW: QUAKE 4
Vehicles such as hover tank and a mech will assist you in your missions which include search and rescue, escort and kill-everything-that-moves campaigns. The mech is very maneuverable in that you walk with it in such a way that terrain isn't much of an obstacle. It can take a lot of punishment and it's equipped with various weapons that let you take on hordes of enemies. The hover tank lets you do battle with other enemy vehicles. It's a great excuse to get outdoors and away from those stuffy offices and corridors.

The Strogg are a very brutal race and are not just satisfied in shooting their enemies. They actually torture them and force their bio-mechanical composition onto and into living human beings, permanently transforming them into hybrid creatures. It's this knowledge that makes the Strogg a very frightening foe. This terror is further reinforced when your squad mates, the ones you have developed a relationship with, are caught and destroyed by these mutations. Your teammates do tend to hold their own in battle so you don't want to see any of them captured. It's bad for morale. But more than that they also help with replenishing your health by offering you injections when you need it.

Quake is gruesome, bloody, violent and psychologically disturbing. You will have a first-hand account of how it feels to be transformed into one of these creatures as you are captured and put through the transformation process, piece by piece. It's not a pleasant situation made all the more sickening by graphic graphics and the sounds of excruciating pain. The benefit to this transformation is that your abilities increase substantially. You could never hope to finish the game without the aid of these powers. Although squad members are somewhat suspicious of you after the operation, you will get the backup you need with other humans that have also been assimilated.

"So sit back, crank it up and prepare to immerse yourself in the final battle."

The first part of the game where you play as a marine is a little on the slow side. The attacks are few and far between, but don't worry, it's just building momentum. After you become part-Strogg, things start to move quickly. There are more enemies onscreen, and larger ones at that. They aren't the most intelligent beasts ever controlled by an AI, but that's good news if you just want to mow them down without much competition. With so much action onscreen and so many characters I experienced some slowdown of the framerate which made me raise my eyebrow more than a few times. This is more than likely the result of having to rush the product to retail in time for the launch and since this is Ravensoft's first port to an entirely new system, I think we can geniunely cut them slack. It's nothing that impedes gameplay but I'm just being honest when I say that expectations run exceedingly high when you're playing one of the hottest PC titles on one of the hottest new game systems.

Expect much the same from the multi-player modes - and less, as these modes will only accommodate eight players. It's claimed that this will kick up the pace. Modes still include the requisite Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Tournament. There are 13 maps including ones from the second the third title of the series. As an added bonus Quake II is included. The best part about this game is the four-player co-op mode. It's not an online mode but it's great for micro-parties. Fortunately you can save your progress at any time.

While I still have a soft spot in my heart for Quake II which may never be replaced, Quake 4 is still an excellent good old colledge try and a fun fast-paced shooter which looks pretty hot to boot. The PC version and the Xbox 360 are so similar it's not even funny but if you're like most console gamers, you probably have a lot better sound system hooked up to your TV than your computer. So sit back, crank it up and prepare to immerse yourself in the final battle. (We'll see about that).

By Colin Thames
CCC Freelance Writer

Rating out of 5
Quake 4 (Xbox 360)
4.2
Graphics
Some instances of frame rate stutter and slowdown but this game definitely looks far better on the X360 than your PIII 700Mhz.
4.5
Control
Keyboard and mouse players will balk at using the controller, but console jockies will be instantly used to the controls.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Things go boom accompanied by the soothing sounds of orchestral destruction.
3.0
Online
Only 8 players which is weak compared to the PC and the action suffers from occasional instances of lag. Not as impressive as other 360 titles.
4.0
Play Value
The single player campaign is short but sweet, online will keep you busy for awhile and Quake 2 will whittle away your life just a little bit more.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
2
Preview By Vaughn

We all knew it was coming. The worst kept secret since the Colonel's secret chicken recipe. Oh wait. That's still a secret. Damn me and my inability to write an analogy. Or is that a metaphor? Or a simile? Or just a damn comparison? Damn me anyway.

id Software announced today that it is bringing QUAKE 4 to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Currently in development by Raven Software in cooperation with id Software, the game will be debuted at the E3 Expo in Activision's booth #1224 in the South Hall on May 18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"QUAKE 4 utilizes the power of our groundbreaking DOOM 3 engine to transport players into a war-torn science-fiction universe graphically realized like never before," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "We're excited to bring the next generation experience to a new breed of console game fans."

QUAKE 4 is the first game to utilize id Software's revolutionary DOOM 3 technology. In the game, you are Matthew Kane, an elite member of Rhino Squad and Earth's valiant invasion force. Fight alone, with your squad, and in hover tanks and mechanized walkers as you engage in a heroic mission into the heart of the Strogg war machine. But, in this epic war between worlds, the only way to defeat the Strogg is to become one of them. Battle through early missions as a deadly marine, then after your capture as a marine-turned-Strogg with enhanced abilities and the power to turn the tide of the war.

Let's think about this for a moment You have to become a cyborg monster called a Strogg. Does that sound a little familiar to you? Strogg.....Borg.....Strogg. Borg. See the unconscious plagiarism at work? If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're definitely not a Trekkie. Come to think of it, neither am I.

Quake 4 takes place immediately following the events from Quake 2 (astute readers will remember that Quake 3 was a multiplayer fandango) and returns the player to the Strogg universe where mutant and machine combine into walking hulks of destruction, not unlike Kirstie Alley in a pastry shop. That was completely uncalled for. I personally think Kirstie looks good with a few pounds on her, but that has nothing to do with Quake 4.

We've been told to expect Matrix style effects in Quake 4, but up until this point we haven't seen any evidence of these mechanics in gameplay footage. As Ravensoft has been keeping Quake 4 close to their chests up until this E3, it shouldn't be too long before the floodgates open and we're inundated with cool info.

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Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best